When Maeve McKenna renounces her witch powers and accepts a low-key nurse practitioner position at a Virginia retirement community, the last thing she expects is a suicide her first day on the job.
As the town’s sexy sheriff, Paul Sutton, starts looking into the tragic death of his father’s friend, Maeve can’t help but get involved–with both the case and him. Their informal investigation unveils an old journal that connects the ruins of a nearby asylum and long-forgotten cemetery with the shiny new retirement community’s memory unit–and Maeve’s Alzheimer’s patients.
Maeve senses a sinister presence in the old asylum, calling to the patients, but in order to stop it from killing again, she must first conquer some demons of her own and reclaim the magic she’s denied herself.
Book covers help convey the story as much as your blurb. Those are the two things most readers have to consider when deciding to purchase a book or not. Make sure your cover relays the flavor and genre of your story and imparts some element of the tale that whets the reader’s appetite to learn more.
Don’t offer something with the cover that isn’t fulfilled in the story. For instance, don’t put half naked people on the cover in a hot embrace if the book is a sweet romance…and vice versa. Readers will be angry and they will tell you about it, too. Usually in the form of a bad review.
Tell us a bit about your family. My husband and I live on our sailboat with our Yorkie, Rio. He’s our child and rules the boat.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? Creativity.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? Impatience.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? That which does not kills us makes us stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? The many novels I’ve completed and published.
What is your favorite color? Green
What is your favorite food? Pizza
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? The Bitter End Yacht Club in the Virgin Islands.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I’m not very comfortable writing love scenes…
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? In 1988, I was reading a lot of StarTrek novels after my company moved me to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. I decided I wanted to write one, so I wrote one in a spiral notebook in pencil. That was when I knew I wanted to be a writer.
How long have you been writing? Since 1988 as a hobby, then to be published in the last 5 years.
What inspires you to write and why? I’ll have an idea pop in my head and I become intrigued and want to explore it.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Paranormal romance or mystery
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? Reading widely in a variety of genres and voraciously.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? Same answer
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? With many crafts you can finish them in a day or week. But writing a novel takes months, and to see it published sometimes takes years. You have to have a lot of persistence, patience, and stamina to be in this business.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Patience and being able to accept suggestions by my beta readers. It’s the first time I’d used a critique group and it really helped in the development.
Do you intend to make writing a career? Yes, definitely. It’s already a second job and I hope will soon be my only job.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? I’m a fast writer and I learn quickly from previous mistakes.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? My writer’s block is always about plotting. If I don’t know where the story is going, I can’t write until I plot it out.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m currently finishing the third book in my steampunk adventure series. When I finish that I’ll be working on the second book in my DraculaVille series.
How did you come up with the title? Memories of Murderis from memories of both the Alzheimer’s patients in the story and the woman who left a diary about the murders committed by a doctor at an old insane asylum on the site of a current retirement community. The memories of the past allow the hero and heroine to solve the present day murders.
Can you tell us about your main character? Maeve McKenna is a witch, descended from a long line of Celtic witches. She binds her powers after killing a man who assaulted her using her witch spells. She needs to heal both mentally and physically. When she’s thrown into solving the mystery of murders at her new clinic, she teams up with the local “hunky” sheriff. He plays a role in her healing and helps her stop the evil threatening their town.
How did you develop your plot and characters? As a nurse practitioner, I’ve dealt with Alzheimer’s patients for years. I always wondered if they existed in another dimension of awareness than the rest of us. They see people and things. Maybe they see ghosts. I used my experience with these patients and the angst of their families to develop those characters.
For Maeve I based her somewhat on my own experiences as a nurse practitioner, since she is also one. Then I looked for conflict in her past that would keep her from using her witch powers. Her love interest will draw her out and give her a reason to readdress her heritage and the importance of accepting her powers.
Who designed the cover? I designed the cover. It’s one of my hobbies.
Who is your publisher? This book was originally published by Crescent Moon Press. When I got the rights back after the term of the contract, I self published it.
Why did you choose to write this particular book? I was really interested in the concept of Alzheimer’s at the time and how their minds work.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? The opening scene is always my hardest part.
Will you write others in this same genre? Yes, in fact I already plan another book that features the GEM’s. They’re Meaves’s mother and aunts. Pearl, Ruby and Opal. Also witches, they provide some comedy and help her solve the mystery.
They’ll be helping other witches in the family as I explore future GEM paranormal mysteries.
For paranormal romance, I also have Dealers of Light out now and DraculaVille – New York.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Two. First, that mental illness, especially depression are much understood even today and those who suffer from this disease are sometimes stigmatized and treated with disdain
Second, that Alzheimer’s patients still have a lot of depth to them and deal with their memories in different ways than we do. They deserve dignity and compassion. It’s a horrible illness, not just for the patients, but for the families as well.
How much of the book is realistic? The clinical element is very real. The history of 19th century insane asylums is also very real regarding the horrors of treatment and how people entered them and never returned to a normal life when today they might have had a different life.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Absolutely. I’m a nurse practitioner in a retirement community and so is Maeve. I’ve suffered from depression most of my adult life and can speak to the misunderstandings that can go along with this disease.
How important do you think villains are in a story? Very. Without them, the conflict is not as dramatic.
What are your goals as a writer? To make enough money from selling my books to quit my day job and go sailing with my hubby.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not so far. I’ve already done a great deal of traveling in my life so I can draw on a lot of that.
Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor? No, most of what I’ve achieved has been as a solitary learner.
Who is your favorite author and why? Anne McCaffrey. I love her characters and the imagination of her settings. Most of her protagonists are women who overcome a lot of adversity. She also incorporates food in her stories, I love that for some strange reason. Her characters are always eating.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Probably seven this year…whew.
Have you started another book yet? Finishing one and then will start the second book in the DraculaVille series.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully sailing in the Caribbean and writing for a living.
What are your current writing projects now? Finishing the third book in my steampunk adventure series. Then I’ll start the second book in my DraculaVille series.
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? Nope, just writing.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out?, Querytracker.net, RWA membership, Y-writer software
What contributes to making a writer successful? A thick hide and dogged persistence.
Do you have any advice for writers? Keep writing. Every book you write will be better than the last. Get people to critique your work and listen to what they have to say. Keep what resonates with you and release the negativity.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? My goal is to entertain. I want to write stories that take people on a mental vacation where they can have a good time and relax.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Drink red wine. Sail. Read.
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I’ve met readers who like my books. That’s been the most amazing part of this journey. To think I’ve touched people I don’t know and gave them some entertainment is everything to me.
Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us? I’m doing a crazy amount of blog tours in the next three months for several of my books. Hope to see ya’ll out there.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Don’t put off your dreams. Live them now. Never doubt what you’re capable of, just go for it.
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? That I caused a lot of happiness through my stories, and enjoyment for my readers, and they will read my books over and over and pass them on to others.
As a single mom and high school dropout June worked hard to give Dana a better life. Against all odds she raises him to be a rich and powerful man, the man known to millions around the world as the King of MMA. Dana is President and part owner of the UFC, a multi-billion dollar international empire and a self made multi-millionaire before the age of 40.
You will find no other owner/president of a company like Dana. He is brash, outspoken, does not care what any one else thinks and is brutal in his business dealings. June gives the reader a glimpse into the life of Dana White, who he was, where he came from and the person he is today. But did Dana’s power and money come at a cost and was the cost too great?
When I first wrote my book and decided to offer it to publishers I knew there would be those who wouldn’t be interested. I researched a great many of the publishing houses and what types of books they published, many are very specific about which books they are interested in publishing. This will cut the number of rejections significantly.
After creating my list I truly believed at least one publisher would be interested in publishing my book, and although there were two that showed a slight interest, it went no further than that. I always told my children when they wanted something but were afraid of rejection, “if they turn you down will you be any worse off for having tried, but if they say yes will you be better off.” This seemed to make the rejection a little easier to handle, in the realm of, “it’s their loss.” You need one person to like your book or see your potential. Keep in mind that authors like J. K. Rowling who was represented by a literary agency was rejected by 12 publishing houses and even when her book was picked up by a publishing house she was told by the editor, “she had little chance of making money in children’s books.” They offered to publish 1000 of her books and then it would be POD, (publish on demand), LOL. The manuscript, “The Help,” was rejected by 60 literary agents and it took the author 3 years to find a publisher. So as the rejections begin to roll in just remember you are in great company. Believe in yourself and your work and remain committed. Those who do succeed don’t listen to the negative words of others.
Self publishing is becoming much more accepted and respected, so if one door closes there is always another you can open. If a book is doing well as a self published book, publishers may become interested and approach the author with an offer. Don’t give up and know you’ve written a good book and rejection, unfortunately is part of the process.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? Into the future, you would be going into the unknown, a bit of a scary thought, adrenaline would definitely be pumping. You wouldn’t know if you were traveling to a world of peace, equality and free from all disease or to a world devastated by war, famine and destruction by mankind. In my mind I can picture both.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?My friends and family.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?Matches, knife or hatchet and bug spray, (I get eaten alive by bugs).
What is one book everyone should read?Mine. Hahaha
If you were a superhero what would your name be?Superhero June
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?Power to fly.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?I love popsicles, and frozen fruit bars.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?My dad, he died when we were young I would like him to see how we all turned out.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?Eggs, toast and coffee.
Night owl, or early bird? Night owl, I have wicked insomnia.
One food you would never eat?Raw anything, beef, fish, eggs. I need my food cooked.
Pet Peeves?Procrastination, being late for an appointment.
Skittles or M&Ms?This actually is a tough one, I buy either one of these when I need a sweet fix,Skittles.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. It’s simple, it’s honest, it’s from the heart, about a mother and child, about success and loss.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?Yes, I prefer to write about things I know, I was a nurse for many years. I would like to eventually attempt a mystery novel, I enjoy Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark stories.
What is your most rewarding experience since being published.I’ve met a lot of new people through social media, some very interesting and some quite helpful.
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?Cinderella, she lived happily ever after.
What is your dream cast for your book?Mark Walberg for my son, a number of people I know for bit parts and I can’t imagine who would play the mom, Angelina Jole, (ha,ha).
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? Charlottes Web and The Night Before Christmas.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?Rocky theme song or Mother and Child Reunion.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?Don’t let critisim stop or deter you. Think of it as someone trying to help you out or just a person who is miserable.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I’m trying to figure that out for myself now.
What is your favorite Quote?Just because you have the right to do it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?I had no clue.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? I’d want someone who is very good at their trade to play me, it wouldn’t have to be someone who is currently famous, just a very good actress.
Hidden talent? I do water color painting, photography, quilting, stained glass, really good at interior design, I am a jack of all arts but master of none.
Favorite Food?Fish and chips at the beach.
Favorite Candy?Any good, expensive dark chocolate.
How do you react to a bad review?As I stated I am a jack of all arts, master of none so I wouldn’t take it personally, not everyone is going to like it.
If you were a bird, which one would you be?An eagle, grand, majestic, powerful and beautiful.
If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why? Not a novel but the story, The Night Before Christmas, from the first time I heard the story it made me happy and excited that a special holiday was coming. I love the look on children’s faces when it’s read to them. Very creative mind that wrote it.
You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?Selfishly a winter home somewhere warm. I love New England but after January I need a break.
What do you do in your free time? Walks on the beach, go to the gym, eat out, hang out with friends and family, read, garden, spend too much time in front of the TV.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?A Life Well Lived.
What’s your favorite season/weather? Fall. Fall in New England is beautiful, the weather is perfect, farms are having fall festivals with fresh corn, apples, peaches, pies, craft fairs almost every weekend. Holidays around the corner. Love it.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?Haven’t yet, I will celebrate when it becomes a movie.
What is your guilty pleasure? An expensive meal in a good restaurant.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?None, I’m not embarrassed by what I do, no matter what others think.
Favorite places to travel? Bahamas, Ireland, Italy, US.
Artist Jennette Jacobson clashes with a handsome visitor at a gallery show. He claims that artwork is just “more junk to dust.” Ouch. When she finds a small metal object on the floor, she uses it later in a new collage.
Her world soon crumbles with family problems and a friend’s betrayal. And wouldn’t you know that the same hunky guy claims he lost an important key the night of the show! When Steve Harmon offers to buy Jenn’s work, she refuses to sell. He’ll just trash it to free his precious key.
Or is it possible that key will unlock her future happiness?
Nothing but sweet and romantic. Reading this book is very nostalgic in my part. The romance is undeniably good which makes me giggle, no words asked this book is definitely a must read from start to finish. It's a book that talks about plot and when I say plot it's really good in every possible way. The story has capture every sweet bone in my body and makes me reminisce my past love. I thoroughly enjoy the story as well as connecting with the characters. It's a very detailed story and I suggest that you read it. I love it and you might love it too!